Downingtown rugby girls play matches in Scotland

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Downingtown Rugby Club (DRFC) and Doylestown girls team swept Scotland over spring break during the 2018 rugby tour. The combined team and four coaches pictured on the field following the final game and win, 56/27 vs. Scotland’s Cartha Queens. Downingtown’s triple win against Scotland’s Melrose, Livingston, and Cartha set a new DRFC record and first-ever triple win at an overseas tour.

The Downingtown Girls Rugby Club toured Scotland over spring break, with a full schedule including two professional training sessions and matches against Scotland’s Livingston, Cartha Queens, and Melrose, birthplace of Rugby 7’s (7 players vs. the traditional 15). DRFC, a volunteer run organization comprised of girls ages 13-18 from local middle and high schools, made history sweeping all three matches. The triple win earned the girls their first international undefeated title since joining the tour in 2010. Previous tours included England/Wales and Ireland.

Downingtown teamed up with rugby mates from Doylestown (Bucks County) and played together for the first time in Scotland. The tour included two games of 15’s (15 players per side) and one game of 7’s (7 players per side.)  The final and most challenging game verses Scotland’s Cartha Queens ended 56/27, DRFC’s 3rd win in a row and final stop on the Scotland tour. The girls played through sun, hail, rain and finally a rainbow during the 70 minute match (two 35 minute halves). Locals explained that Scotland can experience four seasons in a day. The elements however were no match for the two teams as they gave exceptional performances despite muddy fields, cold temperatures, and soaking rain. The contact sport demanded grit and dedication but fostered a culture of family and friendship.

The games were followed by socials where Scotland opened their clubhouse to Downingtown, and new friendships and memories were made. The girls competed against each other again but this time in fun, where downing soft drinks and dancing Scottish jigs declared new champions. Co-Captains and Downingtown West high school seniors Jana Jaran and Alex Martino along with Head Coach Rich Bailey, presented the Scotland hosting teams with gifts including the DRFC team rugby crest. Coach Bailey added, “Scotland welcomed us with open arms and it was a great experience both on and off the field. We feel fortunate to be able to give our girls the opportunity to experience the sport and culture of rugby in a country where they live and breathe it.”

The next DRFC girls rugby tour is slotted for 2020, location to be determined. The regular rugby season is in full swing and runs through May. Visit the DRFC home page for local game schedule and more information at www.drfc.us

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